It’s November 8th, Election Day. What do we know about these pivotal mid-term races?

By Dave Andrusko

Just a quick reminder. If you haven’t voted yet, it’s time to get to the polls. A lot of work has gone into making the first post-Roe elections a success for the babies.

As a single issue voter, I found yesterday’s Reuters’ story a useful reminder of how Democrats bungled the abortion issue: Some in White House Worry Abortion Message Bungled Before Midterms.”

Nandita Bose’s lead sentence is “Some senior White House officials have been second-guessing their messaging to voters around abortion in recent weeks, sources familiar with the matter said, as forecasts turned in Republicans’ favor in the run up to the midterm elections.”

In her second sentence she moves from a narrow focus (“Some senior White House officials”) to “Many Democrats” who are “no longer optimistic about retaining one or both houses of Congress in Tuesday’s midterms, and some have asked if party leaders and the Joe Biden White House should have spent more time talking about the U.S. economy, and less about women’s reproductive rights.”

Steve Peoples, writing for the Associated Press, observed

After the Supreme Court eliminated Roe v. Wade in June, Republicans, including Trump, worried aloud that the decision might trigger a backlash against GOP candidates who oppose abortion rights. And there have been signs in recent months that voters — suburban women and younger voters, in particular — were energized and ready to vote for Democrats on Nov. 8.

But more than four months after the ruling, the abortion effect may be fading.

That may qualify as the understatement of the electoral cycle!

Which explains the last minute push to make annihilating your children into an “economic issue.” 

“It became clear a couple of months ago voters were not opening the conversation with abortion or bringing it up as much as they were talking about the economy and we should have done a better job tying those two issues together,” said one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor in Georgia, did her best. She told MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “You can’t divorce being forced to carry out an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child.”

This prompted National Review writer Dan McLaughlin to remark, “I didn’t really expect Democrats to go with ‘you know, it’s cheaper to feed your family if you kill a few of them’ as a closing argument, yet here we are.” 

It’s a preposterous linkage which attempts to accomplish two goals simultaneously. Pacify the rabid pro-abortionists while at the same time talk about the real issues driving this election: inflation, the price of gas, and crime. 

But, of course, facing this truth is not going over well with NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and EMILY’s List. “This feels like there is an effort in the 11th hour to shift the narrative to the very classic sort of political operative thing,” said Mini Timmarjau, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group that has been working with the White House on the issue. “Let’s start fingerpointing because we are worried about the outcome of the election.”

Ah…yes.

Two more issues. The recent Wall Street Journal poll confirmed a very disturbing trend (for Democrats). “GOP Gaining Support Among Black and Latino Voters, WSJ Poll Finds,” written by Joshua Jamerson and Aaron Zitner.

The Republican Party is winning support from a larger share of Black voters than in other recent elections and has improved its standing in the past few months among Latino voters, the latest Wall Street Journal poll finds, adding to evidence of the party’s increasing appeal among groups that have overwhelmingly favored Democratic candidates.

About 17% of Black voters said they would pick a Republican candidate for Congress over a Democrat in Journal polls both in late October and in August. That is a substantially larger share than the 8% of Black voters who voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020 and the 8% who backed GOP candidates in 2018 House races, as recorded by AP VoteCast, a large survey of voters who participated in those elections.

Among Latino voters, Democrats held a lead of 5 percentage points over Republicans in the choice of a congressional candidate in the Journal’s October survey, a narrower advantage than the Democrats’ 11-point lead in August.

Tony Fabrizio, who was former President Donald Trump’s lead pollster in 2020 and assisted in the Wall Street Journal Poll, said, “it is wholly possible that Republicans reach a new high water mark among both African-Americans and Hispanic voters in this election.”

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake was even more despondent:

Renowned Democratic pollster John Anzalone told the Wall Street Journal this week: “I think that this could be a paradigm-shift election, where Republicans are not only making inroads with the Latino vote, but they’re now making inroads with the African-American vote.”

That paradigm shift has in some ways already begun, at least with Latino voters. Despite Trump’s 2020 loss, he gained significantly from his 2016 margins with this demographic. The GOP gained especially among Latinos in South Texas and South Florida, and it even flipped a heavily Hispanic, South Texas seat in a special election held before Roe was overturned.

Plenty of polls suggest Democrats’ usual margins among Latinos have shrunk. And the Journal’s poll even showed 17 percent of Black voters going GOP — double Trump’s 2020 and the GOP’s 2018 totals.

If Democrats can’t rack up the kind of margins they once did among these groups — or even just one of them — that would suggest not just a bad 2022 election, but more difficult ones in the years to come.

The Republican gains among women, especially women who are Independents, is nothing short of spectacular. USA Today’s Ingrid Jacques writes

A poll The Wall Street Journal released last week found that white suburban women, who make up 20% of the voting base, favor Republicans in congressional races by 15 percentage points. It’s a significant shift from August, when these voters said they supported Democrats by 12 points. 

This is the target bloc Democrats had hoped to win over on abortion rights, but it’s the economy and the direction of the country that are motivating these women. 

Similarly, a recent New York Times/Sienna College survey shows independent women favors Republicans by 18 points, a huge shift from when they supported Democrats by 14 points in September.

A lot of good news. Talk to you soon!